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[5/6] How to Run an Unforgettable Social Media Giveaway: Part 2

In the previous lesson, we went through the first six steps you need to take in order to put together a successful social media giveaway or contest.

Now it’s time for the rest.

Let’s jump right in.

7. Come Up with a Schedule

Before you set up a specific date for your contest, take your time to get everything ready. Create the posts, the images or videos you may want to use, and so forth.

The prizes should be prepared as well.

Decide on how long the giveaway or contest will last for.

Make sure you have an exact date for when you’ll start advertising, as well as a clear date for when you’ll allow participants to begin registering.

Also, take the date you’ll be announcing the winner into consideration.

Follow-up is critical as well– conclusions and insights that your audience would like to read about. Have everything planned out.

It can be a bit tricky to come up with a schedule.

If you rush things, not enough people will find out about the giveaway and you won’t get the desired effect. If it goes on for too long, though, people will start to lose interest and you’ll end up with the same problem.

As a general best practice, three to four weeks is usually a timeframe that works well.

That timeframe includes the advertising, as well as the giveaway itself.

We’ll talk about these topics as well.  So, by the end of the lesson, you’ll know how much time and effort each part require.

8. Create Hype and Start Promoting

There’s a saying:

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it actually make a sound?

That’s how it is with social media giveaways. Don’t keep it a secret.

After all, you want as many people as possible to know about it and take part in it, right?

The first step is to use all of your communication channels to get the word out.

This means email lists, all of your social media channels, website (pop-ups, blogs), plus others that would greatly depend on the type of business you’re running.

It can be anything from in-app notifications to messages on mobile phones.

social giveaway

Make a list where you include every channel that you’ll use to promote the giveaway. This way, you don’t forget anything.

Then, the next step is to create content for all of them.

Articles, posts, dedicated landing pages, videos, infographics, images; the wider the variety, the better.

For your social media posts, consider creating and then using a branded giveaway hashtag. Ask people to enter your giveaway by mentioning and using the branded hashtag.

It’s a great way of growing your brand’s hashtag popularity.

Keep in mind that it is NOT enough to post the message announcing the giveaway only once.

Constantly remind people about it, but don’t be spammy about it. The objective is to make the audience get excited about the prize(s) you offer.

Promoting the giveaway on your communication channels is not the only tool in the box, though.

If you can, try to get some big names in the mix.

By big names, we mean thought leaders and influencers in the industry. If people see a person they trust promoting your giveaway, guess what? You’ll have a higher participation rate.

You can use a tool such as Followerwonk to get in contact with thought leaders in your field. You can search for keywords on Twitter, and it will find bios based on them.

Pitch your giveaway to your influencer/thought leader list. Show them what they get in return (a guest post, more traffic, free sample of your product, and so on).

The more influencers you manage to get on board, the more exposure you’ll get.

9. Start the Social Media Giveaway

After you’re done promoting and people know what to expect, it’s time to go live with the contest or giveaway.

And then immediately resume the promotion.

Start contacting again all the people and brands you spoke with before the launch. Tell them your social media giveaway is now live.

Ask them to promote it again to their audience and fans.

Shift your promotion efforts into 5th gear and talk about the giveaway non-stop. Message your email list. Ask your friends to help you out with promoting it.

Answer every question the audience asks. At this point, you have to do as much as possible to keep people’s attention. There’s no better way to do that than by talking WITH them, not AT them.

You might see a big wave of people right at the beginning of the giveaway and then notice the number of new participants decreases consistently. You shouldn’t panic if that happens.

That’s how things usually go. But through promotion, you can get more people on board even after the giveaway has started.

10. Take Time to Carefully Observe What’s Going on

Keep a close eye for anything that might go wrong. Engage with people who leave you comments or complain about something.

Treat everything like feedback.

While ensuring that everything is going well, you should also check your KPIs carefully. Make a habit of consistently tracking the results. This way, you can make small adjustments to maximize results.

Don’t just check every KPI at the end of the giveaway and decide whether it was worth the effort or not.

A successful event can have long-lasting effects that can’t be measured until later on.

If you ever plan on running another giveaway at some point (and you totally should), the insight you get now will be crucial. Based on it, you will be able to put together and an even better contest or giveaway next time around.

11. Hand Out the Prizes and Thank Everyone for Participating

When the right time has come, announce the winner.

If you’ve organized a social media giveaway (like a sweepstake) try to record the process of you drawing the winner. Make everything as transparent as possible.

If you’re using random.org, OBS Studio is a great piece of software to record the process. (find it at obsproject.com)

If it was a contest, the decision should be transparent as well.

Message the winner to congratulate him/her. Your winners can become ambassadors for your brand.

If you have the resources, try to offer a small prize to every participant.

Something like a 5$ gift card. If not, it’s ok, but you should definitely thank everyone who entered.

This is also a good time to publicly thank the influencers and other helpers who supported your giveaway.

It sends a positive message. Plus, everyone could use a “thank you!” from time to time.

12. Do a Final Analysis

After you’ve handed out the prize and generated buzz about it, measure everything again.

Take your initial data and compare it with what you have now. You’ll probably have a few surprises, positive or not.

social giveaway

Draw conclusions and write a post describing your results and what you learned from this experience. 

Your audience will be happy to hear they were a part of something big.

The winner will feel much better knowing he/she was the best/luckiest out of a large number of participants.

You don’t need to make everything public. Keep the metrics and the results that are only relevant to you and your business private.

And there you have it: a complete guide to giveaways.

Awesome Job Completing this Lesson!

Now that you know all this, you’re ready to organize a killer giveaway.

Social media giveaways and contests are not the easiest things in the world to plan, but they work.

That’s the reason they are so popular with brands all over the world.

Talking about brands, the final lesson from this MasterClass will provide you with even more inspiration. You’ll get to learn about a few social media giveaways and contests ran by some of the biggest brands out there.